Maleficent must be something truly special, because Disney has decided that the “classic Disney villain gets a live-action update” approach deserves multiple films. And the next antagonist to be given a starring role is none other than the puppy-stealing, fur-coat-obsessing Cruella de Vil. The Hollywood Reporter (who broke the news) have Aline Brosh McKenna on screenplay duties for Cruella. McKenna is fitting choice, as she already has some live-action Disney experience, having recently penned the script for Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming Cinderella adaptation.
There’s no word on what the story will entail, but if it’s anything like Maleficent, we’ll be getting all kinds of prequel-ish backstory on Cruella de Vil, and how she’s not so bad despite having an uncontrollable urge to kill baby puppies and wear their skin. Perhaps she didn’t start out that way. Maybe the film will follow a younger, more energetic Cruella who loves animals, and is mistakenly cursed with an unending hunger for sweet, innocent puppy-skin.
Cruella de Vil has, unlike Maleficent, had a recent live-action update, in the 101 and 102 Dalmations films that came out in the late ’90s and early 2000s. So whomever is cast as the iconic villain will likely be compared endlessly to Glenn Close. It might benefit Disney to think outside the box somewhat in casting the role; with the whole “wearing clothing made out of skin” thing, Ted Levine might be an inspired choice.